AC/DC – “Rock N Roll Train” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

AC/DC’s “Rock N Roll Train” is a high-octane anthem, embodying the band’s signature spirit of pure rock and rebellion. The song paints a vivid picture of someone who lives life on the edge, seeking ecstasy and thrills. Through imagery like “One hot angel” and “One cool devil”, the song alludes to the duality of rock n’ roll – it can be both divine and devilish. Repeatedly mentioning a “runaway train” symbolizes uncontrollable passion and momentum. While it’s not explicitly about a specific person, the essence is all about embracing life with fervor. The songwriters, in classic AC/DC fashion, wrote this to celebrate the unyielding power and energy of rock music.

Love the power-packed energy of rock n’ roll? Discover the magic behind this AC/DC anthem and hop aboard the runaway train of meaning!


“Rock N Roll Train” Lyrics Meaning

The song begins with juxtapositions: “One hot angel, One cool devil”. This contrast hints at the unpredictable and dual nature of rock n’ roll. It’s seductive, transcendent, and has a wild side. “Your mind on the fantasy, Living on the ecstasy” suggests escapism, where rock music offers an avenue to break free from reality and live in a heightened state of joy.

AC/DC’s call to “Give it all, give it” encourages listeners to live unapologetically, pushing boundaries, and embracing passions. It’s an invitation to give everything you’ve got to the moment, to the music, to life.

The chorus’s recurring “Runaway train (Running right off the track)” encapsulates the song’s core message. Much like a train that’s gone off the rails, rock n’ roll is about breaking free, defying norms, and plunging headfirst into the unknown. It’s unpredictable but exhilarating.

The lines “One hard ring a bell, Old school rebel” and “A school boy’s spelling bee, A school girl with a fantasy” emphasize the broad appeal of rock music. It’s for the rebels, the dreamers, the young, and the old. Everyone, regardless of background or age, can find solace or unleash their inner wild child with rock.

The song’s consistent return to themes of rebellion, ecstasy, and the electric charge of rock music cements AC/DC’s dedication to the genre.

The Story Behind “Rock N Roll Train”

When it comes to AC/DC, their entire oeuvre is a love letter to rock music, and “Rock N Roll Train” is no exception. Released in 2008 as part of their ‘Black Ice’ album, this track arrived after an eight-year hiatus, signaling AC/DC’s return to the music scene. The anticipation was real, and fans were eager to see if the band still held their magnetic charm.

In crafting this song, Angus and Malcolm Young, the driving forces behind AC/DC, wanted to make a clear statement: Rock n’ roll was far from dead, and AC/DC was still its stalwart champion. They wrote this song as a reflection of their unwavering commitment to the genre. It was a message to both longtime fans and new listeners that AC/DC still had that electrifying energy and spirit.

The period leading up to ‘Black Ice’ was a reflective one for the band members. They were older, wiser, but still as passionate about their craft. While the rock scene had evolved and shifted in various directions, AC/DC’s essence remained unchanged. “Rock N Roll Train” was a testament to that. It was about holding onto the core of what makes rock n’ roll magical while charging forward full steam.

The song, in many ways, can be seen as AC/DC’s reassertion of their identity. They’ve always been the runaway train of rock, and with this track, they proved they had no intentions of slowing down.